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Tusche, tone and stone: 19th C. news illustration

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International Affairs: Puck and Judge

Puck: Frederick Opper, on United States interests in Samoa

Caption: COCK-A-DOODLE DOO! June 26, 1889

The 1889 Berlin Treaty
Once British missionaries arrived in Samoa in 1830, it was another generation before more Europeans, this time from Germany, established a successful trading port in Apia, what is now the capital of Western Samoa. By 1889, and after a Samoan civil war in 1893, Samoa was guaranteed its political independence but the treaty signed at the Berlin Conference that year stipulated that Samoa would remain neutral and be 'advised' by Britain and Germany.

Opper's imperialistic rooster is crowing about this agreement, while the German and British roosters slink away, and the little hen that is Samoa sits safe, if confined, in her roost. On December 2, 1899, a Tripartite Treaty, adding the United States to the 'protectors' replaced the Berlin Treaty and conferred Western Samoa to Germany and what is now termed American Samoa to the United States. As a result of Germany's defeat in World War I, Samoa was 'awarded' to New Zealand, and has been an independent member of the British Commonwealth since the 1962.

Judge: artist uncredited -- Russian Japanese War, Easter, 1905

Caption: An Easter(n) Surprise

"The big Russian hen begins to see what a mistake she made when she hatched out that Manchurian egg. The fabled mare's nest was not more charged with evil. Besides a more than equal competitor, a brood of domestic ills sprang to life out of that fateful shell which threatens the czar's throne as never before. It is another of those ironies of history that the monarch whose greatest bid for fame was a proposition of universal peace should see that fame melting away in the miseries of an unprecedented war."

The Judge editorial on its April 22, 1905 cover image, comments on the Russo-Japanese War, resulting from the struggle between Russia and Japan to control what was seen as a conflict over Russian and Japanese "national" interests in a perceived "sphere of influence" that included Manchuria, China, and Korea.